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From .38 hectares of biodynamically farmed vines averaging over 40 years old, high on the hillside of Corton. Traditionally the most powerful and long-lasting of the stable of red Corton lieux-dits at Chandon de Briailles and always found on any Burgundy lover's shortlist of truly great and classic Cortons.
Chandon de Briailles' bottling of Ile de Vergelesses comes in both red and white and each one is a benchmark expression of the appellation. Pernand is lodged in a combe (a valley) between the hills of Corton and Savigny and stays a couple degrees cooler thanks to a wind that comes down from the north through the gap. The wines are as a result always fresh feeling even in warmer vintages and this 2018 is no exception. The pretty red and black fruit is a touch reticent at first but emerges with air, along with beautiful spice and dried floral aromatics from the stems. There is great acidity and an overall feeling of energy, which belies the sturdy tannins. This is young today and will benefit from decanting if drinking tonight but the potential here is considerable and this will be excellent in 3-5 years and beyond. Sam Ehrlich
Chandon de Briailles is one of the truly grand domaines of Burgundy, dating back to 1834. Their holdings include vines in most of the best sites in Savigny and Pernand, as well as considerable parcels of Corton Grand Cru and Charlemagne and there seems to be near-consensus that the wines that the estate has produced over the last ten years are the most consistently brilliant that the de Nicolay family has produced. "Aux Fournaux" is named for the 1er Cru that makes up the lion's share of this bottling. This may be labeled villages-level wine but what's inside is considerably more elevated.
Was $62.99 Sourced from several parcels spread across the village's diverse soils and climates, this is a serious village wine. It's marked by raspberry and darker berries like black cherry as well as baking spices and a touch of hoisin in the mid-palate. There is good weight here and enough acidity to suggest that this will age well for at least five to eight years. Another very good value.
Sourced from several parcels spread across the village's diverse soils and climates, this is a serious village wine. It's marked by raspberry and darker berries like black cherry as well as baking spices and a touch of hoisin in the mid-palate. There is good weight here and enough acidity to suggest that this will age well for at least five to eight years. Another very good value.
Was $104.99 Tuvilains is a recent addition to the lineup at the estate. It sits much further south and just below Pertuisots on the slope. The dense clay in the soil is rich in iron oxide and makes sturdy structured wines. This is the yardstick for extraction levels these days at the domaine. The 2018 is certainly squared-shouldered in its mouthfeel but once again it shows plenty of pure and bright red fruit and the finish shows a lovely mineral coolness. This may take a couple of years to really come together but will be delicious with a little time in a decanter and should age very well. Sam Ehrlich
Tuvilains is a recent addition to the lineup at the estate. It sits much further south and just below Pertuisots on the slope. The dense clay in the soil is rich in iron oxide and makes sturdy structured wines. This is the yardstick for extraction levels these days at the domaine. The 2018 is certainly squared-shouldered in its mouthfeel but once again it shows plenty of pure and bright red fruit and the finish shows a lovely mineral coolness. This may take a couple of years to really come together but will be delicious with a little time in a decanter and should age very well. Sam Ehrlich
Honest Burgundy at this price is an increasingly rare bird these days. From two vineyards in Santenay with EcoCert certification, the 2018 is full and round upon opening, with juicy raspberry and black cherry fruit, baking spices and a touch of cola. But with air, it gains tension and elegance and the Burgundy minerality becomes more apparent. This is very satisfying and will likely improve, but why wait? Bottled under screwcap. Sam Ehrlich
Ludovic Bonnardot runs his family domaine a few miles east of Beaune. His mother worked with natural wine forefather Jules Chauvet in Beaujolais. Today he farms his family vineyards organically (with certification) and makes wine with very little to no sulfur. The results are generally excellent. This '18 Hautes Cotes is a case in point. Fermented with 50% whole clusters and no apparent oak influence, this is marked by lovely red cherry and strawberry fruit, clove and star anise. The texture is pretty and quite delicate, with a coolness to the finish that belies the warm vintage. Recommended. Sam Ehrlich
From forty-year old vines up above Pommard that Seiichi farms himself. Fermented 100% whole cluster and no sulfur added.
Was $114.99 Anne Morey is best known for her brilliant and piercing white wines but her reds are no less lovely. "Clos du Chapitre" is from a parcel on the southeast edge of the village of Aloxe, separated from the first of the Corton Grand Crus by a distance roughly the same as a city block.
Anne Morey is best known for her brilliant and piercing white wines but her reds are no less lovely. "Clos du Chapitre" is from a parcel on the southeast edge of the village of Aloxe, separated from the first of the Corton Grand Crus by a distance roughly the same as a city block.
The first vigneron in Burgundy to convert to biodynamics in 1979, Jean-Claude Rateau fashions wines of great purity and precision. Working with no new oak and minimal sulfur, his reds are at once floral, savory, and mineral. Les Beaux et Bons is sourced from lieux-dits Beaux and Bons on the Pommard side of Beaune - the 2019, tasted from baarrel in January 2020, was a bit lighter in body than the "Prevoles," showing super elegant high-toned red fruits with underbrush and an earthy spiciness on the nose. This follows through on an intensely mineral palate, very silky and lush with fresh acidity and savory red fruits and terrific length. With time in a decanter more floral notes appear and the palate expands in weight and complexity. Beautifully balanced. Decant now or hold for 3-5 years and enjoy over the next 10.
Jean-Claude Rateau's domain has been Biodynamic since 1979 and produces lovely light-bodied, old fashioned Burgundies. The 2019 Beaune Les Prévoles (a lieu-dit below 1er Cru Chouacheux and les Tuvilains) was vinified with %100 whole-clusters, bringing a bit more structure and tannin to this deeply fruited wine which shows beautiful ripe aromas of cherry and black raspberry with rose, earth, citrus and brown spice. The palate is chalky, ripe and sapid, showing the density of the 2019s with lush black berry fruits enveloping firm acidity and mineral flavors. Really a lovely wine and quite delicous now, full and ripe enough for grilled meats, as well as chicken and pork dishes and cheeses such as morbier, tomme de savoie. This should benefit from a bit of aging but is quite beautiful as a young wine, best perhaps 2023 - 2030+. David Lillie
This delicious Pinot Noir rosé is made from 30 to 60 year-old vines on classic clay/limestone soils in Marsannay. With a floral and deeply red-fruited nose, the 2019 Domaine Collotte Marsannay rosé is exuberant, verging on effusive. Wild cherry and rose petals give way to a cool citrus peel aromas. Somewhat rich, the racy, medium weight palate shows hints of cherry, herbs, and a hint of mineral funk. It's long and savory with a pleasing hint of cherry pit on the lively finish. This should be wonderful on warm summer evenings with a variety of lighter dishes.
Passetoutgrains rarely feels deep and serious and nor should it be required to. This is not grand Burgundy but it is a clear example of a serious grower treating all of his wines with the utmost care. This is a lovely satisfying Passetoutgrains, equal parts Pinot and Gamay and co-fermented. It's full of juicy red and blue fruit, that lovely white pepper note from Gamay grown on limestone and the energy of the 2017 vintage. Sam Ehrlich
The 2019 "Les Gardes Rémi" is a new wine for Les Champs de l'Abbaye, coming from a parcel of 75 year-old vines in the Côte Chalonnaise, harvested late at optimum ripeness. (Not yet certified organic) This is "for lovers of mature, opulent Pinot Noir" says winemaker Alain Hasard. The wine was aged in a percentage of new oak to frame the lush fruit.
Julien Guillot at the Clos des Vignes du Maynes makes this Mâcon Rouge from 20 different old Gamays, including Gamay "teinturiers" with thick skins and dark juice, with no added SO2. The 2017 shows a deep red color with aromas of blackberry, tart cherry, srawberry, black pepper, roast meat, fennel, citrus peel, violet... The palate is lean and elegant with citrusy black fruits, earth and mineral flavors, chalky and long. "This wine is indestructible" says Julien, and it's obviously built to last. Serve with a farm chicken in sauce, and decant or open in advance, but best to cellar for five or ten years. David Lillie
Julien Guillot made beautiful wines in 2018 and this Pinot Noir is no exception, from 3 parces of very chalky soils in the Macon - showing lovey texture, complexity, finesse and freshness. The lovely aromas are of raspberry, blood orange, tart plum, brown spice, earth and tea, for starters. The palate is soft, silky and refreshing with black fruits mingled with earth, citrus, stone and tea with plum and raspberry emerging in the finish. Any lover of natural wine should try this! No added SO2, 100% delicious.
Paul and Marie Jacqueson are third generation winemakers in the Côtes Chalonnaise carrying on their grandfather's tradition of crafting high-quality wines from Rully and Mercurey. Today the domaine consists of 13 hectares farmed using organic treatments, all hand-harvested. All of their reds are 100% destemmed and aged in 25% new oak for one year.
The Vignes du Maynes "Cuvée Auguste" is a superb Burgundy made from massale selection Pinot Fin planted in 1964. The parcel, high on the slope in Cruzille, is on Bathonian limestone with a great deal of calcium carbonate crystal (aragonite) with thin topsoils of clay and silica. Yields of 20 hl/ha, semi-carbonic fermentation, with zero additives, bottled under nitrogen. 2019 is a superb vintage for the Cuvée Auguste with a bit of extra density due to the warm, dry conditions of the vintage. The wine shows elegant aromas of black raspberry and wild strawberry with hints of blood orange, violet and brown spice - really lovely. The palate shows a beautiful melange of blackberry, strawberry and tart cherry with citrus, earth and minerals, very sappy and dense. Elegant finish of earth, stone and red fruits. This is a gorgeous wine, and quite delicious now, but cellaring of ten years or more should be possible. Congratulations to Julien Guillot for this beautiful Pinot!
Made from Gamay Petit Grains planted in 1953, grown on a limestone parcel high in magnesium, in the Clos des Vignes du Maynes in Cruzille, organic since 900 AD (!), now certified Biodynamic. The energetic Julien Guillot vinifies his reds without sulfur or additives of any kind, producing complex, mineral, elegant wines that transcend their appellation. The 2019s here are extraordinary, showing the elegance, purity and balance typical of the estate with the wonderful density and ripeness of the vintage. The wine shows gorgeous red and black fruit aromas with cranberry, earth, stone and musk and hints of mint, chocolate and spice. The palate is bright and intense with blackberry, citrus, stone and earthy flavors, that continue on the very long mineral finish. Always one of the greatest Gamays produced anywhere, the 2019 Manganite is a young wine that will benefit from decanting or five to fifteen years in the cellar. Highly recommended!